Matarangi is a wooded area on the Coromandel Peninsula. It's a fresh, green, rainy area with good pastures and precious trees. You have to go by car like my friend Alice from London and I did. The area is famous for its nature, which is wild, but still tranquil. A slow and quiet beauty which is only possible in these distant lands. From any area of the North Island you have go by car, but be careful because the roads are not paved and because they are always wet, they can be very slippery. The road to get here is like a dream, like all the North Island.
When Woodward bought the land, the second jewel in the crown (the first and foremost is the Nikau Cave came with the package. Declared a nature reserve 30 years ago, it can be accessed via a floating bridge located on a bend just before Nikau Café. A small sign indicates that there is a rest area, but what you never imagined is that on the other side of the bridge you end up in an oasis in the middle of a desert of farms in the region. The river that marks the valley and leads into a magnificent waterfall, is the source of the explosion of flora and fauna of this little area. The walk is just a 25-minute walk, so you can delve into the Hobbit forest. At times it feels as though you have been whisked off into another part of the country. Also thanks to two Dutch students who worked and developed environmental and marketing plans for Nikau Café, the route has information of the local flora, which thanks to a book provided in the coffee shop, provides abundant information on the species in the region (some with funny names).
Between Paihia and Waitomo we decided to visit Kairoua Forest. You can take a short walk here and imagine that the New Zealand forests used to be full of kauri, which are conifers that are over fifty meters high that were an important foundation of the economy of this area. You can see several giant kauri, including the Matua Ngahere (The Father of the Forest), which is possibly the oldest tree in New Zealand at almost 4000 years old and it has a trunk that's five feet in diameter. You can also see The Four Sisters, The Tree Ghost, which is the second largest tree, Tane Mahuta, which has the name of the God of the trees and is even taller than the Father of the Forest, but it's only 2200 years old. These trees produce a very valuable type of amber called "Kauri gum." We saw one of them, but it was raining so hard we weren't sure which one it was. Then we ran to the car.